Thunder, the border collie that guards geese from Tonawanda golf courses, is ready for retirement | Local news

Thunder, the border collie that guards geese from Tonawanda golf courses, is ready for retirement |  Local news

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As a cool breeze blew through the Sheridan Park Golf Course in Tonawanda, golfers were on the green, but the geese weren’t.

Because the thunderous border collie has done his job for the day: chasing away those pesky geese… in a golf cart.

Thunder is the third guard dog of the Tonawanda Youth and Parks Recreation Department. He’s unofficially retired, says superintendent Scott Boivin, but he still goes to the golf course to do what he’s done for 11 years: keep the course free of goose bumps.

Thunder is 13 years old, and his legs don’t work like they used to.



Scott and Thunder make their rounds

Friday, July 15, 2022 Owner Scott Boivin sleeps thunder as he talks to grounds crew at Sheridan Park Golf Course.


Minn. Connors/Buffalo News


Boivin, the Grinch’s guardian at the city’s golf courses, has been with Thunder since he was a child and remembers the dog chasing geese on the four-legged golf course.

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“When he was young, we used to go to all the parks to protect the geese from the baseball diamond and football fields. Now he hangs out with me on the golf courses,” Boivin said.

They ride on a golf cart to scare away the geese because of the age of thunder.

“If he’s on the cart, the geese will take off before we get close to them. His mere presence is enough to scare them,” Boivin said.

Thunder also frequented the city’s golf courses at Sheridan Park and Brighton Park, but he was primarily located at Sheridan Park.

Although Thunder has officially retired, he will never leave the side as he shares a strong bond with Boivin.

Even if he doesn’t have to, he goes along with making Boivin.

Thunder likes to swim, and often takes a dip in the Boivin family pool. When Boivin’s having a bad day, Thunder is always there to listen.

“He’s my son, my friend, my family. As I am with him, so is he with me.” Boivin said.



Scott and Thunder make their rounds

Friday, July 15, 2022 Thunder rolls over the grass at Sheridan Park Golf Course.


Minn. Connors/Buffalo News


Boivin isn’t sure where the name thunder came from, but he speculates that it may have been because he was afraid of its sound.

“He hides anywhere or crawls into a corner or sits next to me,” Boivin said. He’s definitely a thunderous little baby and has a firework streak that most dogs can’t handle.

The city is looking for another guard dog and handler.

Being a handler is a serious commitment, as you bond with one dog for the duration of the dog’s stay.

Anyone interested in this activity should call the city’s Youth Parks and Recreation Department at 716-831-1001.

Contact me at apreston@buffnews.com.

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